Lulu, The Nest And The Egg

Lulu grazing in the pasture

Maybe Lulu heard the nest fall, or saw it.  Something made her go back to the pole barn by herself this morning.  It’s a rare thing for Fanny and Lulu not to be together, but  this time, Fanny didn’t follow her.

When I got back to the pole barn a few minutes later, Lulu was eating the fallen nest, which was mostly made of hay and old leaves.    It was the Starling’s nest that I wrote about a  few weeks ago.   The one that had been built on top of the barn swallow nest.

Last week I found two dead, featherless, baby birds under the nest in the pole barn.  Both times I was surprised how intact they were, as if the sheep and donkeys purposely avoided them.

Lulu finished eating and moved on.  There was not a piece of hay or leaf in sight.  But there was a gray feather and a small, brown, speckled egg.

A Barn Swallow’s egg.

It was whole, about the size of a penny, obviously abandoned when the Starling took over the nest.   It had fallen from a height of at least 15 feet and then Lulu had carefully eaten around it, without breaking it.

The Barn Swallow egg

It makes me think that there’s so much nature happening right in our barn, domestic and wild.  And this is only the stuff I’m seeing.  I can’t even begin to image all that goes on that I don’t see.

Between the insects and the animals, there are life and death dramas going on constantly.

Last week I nestled the dead baby birds in the weeds growing around the apple tree.  Today I tucked the Barn Swallow egg in the Sedum ground cover on the edge of my garden.

By doing this I become a small part of the story.  By observing it, and caring enough to tell that story, I become a witness.

It doesn’t change anything, but still, I feel compelled to tell the story.  As if it holds something of value, even if I’m not sure what it is.

Proud To Be A Part Of #tinypricks

My Tiny Pricks.  A Donald Trump quote stitch on a vintage Hankie.

I’ve been following #tinypricks on Instagram for a while with the intention of participating, but never did till now.

The Tiny Pricks Project was created by Diana Weymar.  She asked people to find quotes by Donald Trump, embroider them on linens and send them to her.  She now has a growing collection   and is  exhibiting her Tiny Pricks Project in galleries around the country.

Weymar describes her intention for this project on her website Tiny Pricks Project:

“Like so many others, I am trying to process this presidency in a way that doesn’t involve withdrawing from following politics. This project is about witnessing, recording, taking notes in thread, and paying attention. Paying attention to his words.

This series holds a creative space in a tumultuous political climate. Tiny Pricks Project counterbalances the impermanence of Twitter and other social media, and Trump’s statements by using textiles that embody warmth, craft, permanence, civility, and a shared history. The daintiness and strength of each piece stands in a stark contrast to his presidency.”

To me Tiny Pricks is an example of the Divine Feminine at work.   It’s strength comes from being  direct, tenacious and creative.

I found the Trump quote, “I sorta get away with things like that” a while ago.  It comes from an interview where he was asked about “bursting” into the Miss Universe Pageant dressing room.

To me the quote speaks not only to this one incident, but of so much of Trumps presidency and his life before he became president.  Donald Trump is used to getting away with things.  He’s good at it and from what I can see, has no moral qualms about it.   Just the opposite, he embraces it.

It was a few messages that I recently got about the  #tinypricks article in The New Yorker and  Trump’s comments to Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna S. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, to  “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,”  that finally moved me to action to join the Tiny Pricks Project.

I had the quote, now I just needed to find the linen to sew it on.

So I went through my shelves and boxes and found the hankie with the red, white and blue crocheted flower and edging.

It was perfect.

I never hand stitched letters before, and didn’t have an embroidery ring, but  I wasn’t going to let that stop me.  I had procrastinated on this one too long.

This morning I sent an email with a photo of the hankie to Diana Weymar.   Since she’s traveling around the county, she’s asking people to email her photos of their pieces and she’ll send them an address of where the next show will be so they can be included.

It’s a continually growing exhibit.  And I’m very glad to be a part of it.  She encourages people to enter more than one piece and to spread the word.

I’m doing both.  The Trump quotes are as plentiful as my supply of linens.

If you’d like to participate in the Tiny Pricks Project, you can read all about it here.

And if you have a quote, but not a hankie or linen to stitch it onto, I’ll be more than happy to send you one.   I couldn’t think of a better use for them.  Just email me here at [email protected].

You can see all the other Tiny Pricks here. 


All Those Pillows….

My three latest pillows.  

A part of me wishes I had all seven of my pillows made around the silk embroideries, so I could see them all together.  But the other part of me is glad they’re in or on their way to their new homes.

The Loons are sold and I finished the Owl Pillow and sold it this morning. Just after posting this, I sold my Parrot Pillow too.   My Parrot Pillow is still available.  You can buy it in my Etsy Shop (just click here) or email me at [email protected]   It’s 23″x23″ and is $90 including shipping.

I have a tiger, a chipmunk, goldfish and reeds (which may be spoken for) that can still be made into pillows.

But I might take a break from them, because I keep thinking about that book I read by Rob Dunn, Never Home Alone , about all the microbes and insects we live, and some dragonfly and moth coasters that Fran sent me, and a quilt.

I saw Carolyn, who gave me the silk embroideries, and she said she was so glad they were finding a new life.

Carolyn has a fascinating blog about all the cats she’s lived with (and there are lots!) and  her life growing up in Cambodia and other places around the world. (She gave me lots of fabric from her world travels).   I especially love seeing the old and new photos that accompany her writing.  Her blog is called CatsinCambridge  to get there, just click here.

The  four silk embroideries I have to make into pillows.

Two More Cords Of Wood


The wood shed is full. I’ll stack the rest of the wood on pallets just outside, then put a tarp over the top of it.

I pulled into the parking lot at the Cambridge Valley Vet, just up the road from the farm.  It rained all day and I knew the mosquitos would be overwhelming in the woods, so Fate and I were going to walk on McMillan Road instead.

We got out of the car and Fate made a beeline for Nicole, who was walking towards us from the Vets office.

Fate knows Nicole well.  She’s our Vet Tech, watches our animals when we go away and helps stack our  firewood.  “We’re just taking a walk,” I yelled to her across the parking lot, then told Fate not to jump.

Fate was too excited not to jump, but Nicole’s used to Fate.   “I wanted to show you this picture” she said, “I came across it the other day.”

Nicole handed me a photo, the color saturated, everything in it colored an orangey-red.  There was a barn, an open field, and a tiny man standing next to what looked like miles of stacked wood.

“I grew up stacking wood” Nicole said.  Her father cut and sold firewood for a living.  “I don’t  think twice about stacking a cord of wood.”

Nicole is a creative wood stacker.  I learned things I never knew about stacking wood from watching her.

We get two cords of wood delivered at a time, and by the time you get a quarter of the way though, the pile of wood is far enough away from the wood shed, to make  carrying two pieces of wood at a time a drudgery.

So when I saw Nicole and her son Keen,  tossing the wood into the shed,  I was intrigued.  And when I tried it myself I saw how it worked for me in two ways.

First it was much easier and quicker to throw the wood than walk back and forth.  But the other thing it does is break down the process so you’re constantly getting a sense of satisfaction.

There’s immediate gratification in making smaller piles of wood, and then stacking them, because you can actually see your progress.  And because I can be obsessive, that always make me one to throw, then stack, just one more pile. 

The other thing Nicole taught me was that the wood doesn’t always have to go in the same direction.    I do this with the ends that hold the stack, but Nicole does it throughout the stacks.  I don’t know if she has a reason for doing it that way, but it seems to work.

So when there’s a small space where the wood won’t fit length-wise, I now fill it in, in which ever direction the wood fits.

This may seem like common sense, and it really is, it’s just that I never thought of it before I saw Nicole do it.

“I didn’t get to help stack any of your latest batch of wood, but I can get there next week” Nicole said to me before Fate and I left on our walk.

“Oh, I said “I’ll have it done before then.”

And we smiled at each other knowingly,  Nicole likes stacking wood as much as I do.

My Parrot Pillow For Sale

My Parrot Pillow is for sale in my Etsy Shop.

I had awful dreams last night about having an accident (and possibly hurting three or four small children)  while driving a van that I couldn’t control, and then discovering that I was still married to my ex-husband.

I knew the dreams came from writing about money last night, and first thought they were a premonition of my life being out of control.    But once I came fully awake, and was able to think rationally,  I was just relieved that the dreams weren’t true.

I’ve heard that nightmares are sometimes about the things we’re afraid of.  It’s like the subconscious is showing us our fears, so when we wake, we can see or fears aren’t based in reality.

That’s how I chose to interpret these dreams. To see that my life as the opposite of being out of control,  because of the relief I felt when I woke up, but also because I know it’s true.

So I went into my studio this morning feeling grateful for my life and optimistic about my work and finished sewing my Parrot Pillow.

And now it’s for sale.

My Parrot Pillow is  $90 including shipping and is 23″x23″.  You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here  or by emailing me at [email protected]  


Now I’m trying to figure out the colors for the Owl…..

Full Moon Fiber Art Etsy Store

Sexy Pear

I only had to take one life-drawing class to see that pears are sexy.  Some more voluptuous than others.

When Jon said he was going to have a pear with breakfast, I picked one out to cut up (I don’t like cooking, but I do love chopping things up and don’t pass up an opportunity).  The shape of this pear was especially nice.

Ever since that first life drawing class, pears will always be the back of a woman sitting down, her  her legs in front of her,  out of sight, her head, arms and shoulders to be imagined.

In my mind I saw this morning’s pear in an instant photo.  I wanted a close up of it, but haven’t figured how to do that with my instant camera yet.  Somehow it never works out for me.

So I placed this morning’s  pear on a banana pedestal and got a photograph that I didn’t expect, but really like.

Monthly Donations, Parrot Pillow and Being Honest About Money

Working on my Parrot Pillow

I was working on my latest pillow, this one with silk embroidered parrots,  when the idea came to me.

When I first decided to take donations on my blog a few people asked me if I would have a way for them to make monthly payments.  At the time I was just getting used to the idea of asking to be paid for the work I do on my blog and was a bit overwhelmed by the idea of monthly donations.

So I put it off, thinking someday…..

Now it seems like someday has come.  In the past week I had three people ask me if there was a way to make monthly donations to my blog.  This time I emailed Chris at Mannix Marketing, my web designer,  to see if it was possible.

It took him a day longer than usual to get back to me, but when he did, he said they could set up monthly payments through PayPal.

He gave me a price  and I only hesitated for a moment, wondering if it would be worth it, then reminded myself to think big, not small and sent back an email giving him the go ahead.

The idea that came to me as I was working on my Parrot Pillow, was that if I could make and sell four more pillows, that would pay for the new monthly payment option on my blog.

I was planning on making more of the pillows anyway, but somehow, thinking of the next four in this way lifted my spirits.  Maybe because it created a specific goal.  Not that I don’t have a specific goal every month to pay my bills, but this was up and above the usual.

Lately Jon’s been talking about managing money creatively.  How it makes him feel more confident about money when he thinks of it that way.

I’m not sure if my plan really makes a difference or not, since I’d be making and hopefully selling the pillows anyway.  But it does make me feel like I have a solution, a way of paying  that extra this month.

I never wrote much about the financial side of being an artist before.  But I’m finding its freeing to be able to.  Freeing to be honest about it.

And since I’m being honest, I’ve actually been hiding it by not writing about it.  Hiding it because it made me too anxious to admit.  As if it meant my business wasn’t successful and I was a failure.  But, of course, hiding anything only make it worse.  Makes me believe  as if I have a real reason to hide it.

As much as I don’t want money to be the focus of my life, art or business, it is a reality and a constant balancing act.  One that, if I open myself up to, can be as creative as any other part of my life.





Full Moon Fiber Art